It's a quiet week for the Top 12, as eight of the top nine teams all walked away with wins. That's not to say that there wasn't some mild shifting going on, but nothing overly stunning. With a lot of the big dogs playing sub-par teams, there is room for some excitement next week if our Top 12 underpeform.
#1 – Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons enter their bye week as the NFL's lone unbeaten team. Unless somebody pulls off a truly dominating or miraculous victory, they are nearly guaranteed to be holding onto this spot next week as well..
Last Week: 3 Change: +2 Record: 6-0 Next Game: Bye Week
#2 – New York Giants
The Giants showed why they are the defending champions in their pounding of the 49ers. They don't bring it every week, but when they do, they are nearly unbeatable.
Last Week: 8 Change: +2 Record: 4-2 Next Game: vs. Redskins
#3 – Houston Texans
The Texans faced their first real test of the year and failed miserably. They get their shot at redemption this week against Baltimore, with the winner holding complete control of the AFC.
Last Week: 2 Change: -1 Record: 5-1 Next Game: vs. Ravens
#4 – San Francisco 49ers
After Week 1, many were touting the Niners as unstoppable. After a loss to the Vikings and another to the Giants, they look very stoppable.
Last Week: 1 Change: -3 Record: 4-2 Next Game: vs. Seahawks
#5 – Chicago Bears
It's always a nice thing when you can sit out the week and find yourselves rising in the rankings. It means that some of your top competition went out their and laid some eggs.
Last Week: 6 Change: +1 Record: 4-1 Next Game: vs. Lions
#6 – Green Bay Packers
The Packers beat the Bears and the Texans and are ranked below them. To be fair, though, they are ranked above the Seahawks, who beat Green Bay. The bottom line is that one good performance doesn't comletely erase the stink that accumulated over the past few weeks. However, it's a start.
Last Week: 9 Change: +3 Record: 3-3 Next Game: @ Rams
#7 – New England Patriots
With three losses by a total of four points, the Pats are a few plays away from being up there with the Falcons. However, football is a game of inches and so those little inconsistencies do count for something and can't be completely dismissed. The Pats need to stop with the game-changing miscues that have plagued them all season if they want to grab one of those elusive bye weeks.
Last Week: 4 Change: -3 Record: 3-3 Next Game: vs. Jets
#8 – Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens won the battle against Dallas, but they lost the war. Injuries to Ladarius Webb and Ray Lewis are why I dropped Baltimore three spots. Those losses will be extremely difficult to overcome and may have ended their title aspirations.
Last Week: 5 Change: -3 Record: 5-1 Next Game: @ Texans
#9 – Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings could have made a major leap forward this week by beating the Redskins. Instead, they've left us questioning their legitimacy and find themselves down two spots.
Last Week: 7 Change: -2 Record: 4-2 Next Game: vs. Cardinals
#10 – Denver Broncos
Do I punish the Broncos for falling into a 24-point hold in the first place, or reward them for fighting their way out of it? I think the take home from Monday's game is that Peyton Manning can be just as deadly as ever on any given week. For that reason, Denver is definitely not a team that I'd like to face in the playoffs..
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 3-3 Next Game: Bye Week
#11 – Seattle Seahawks
Did the Patriots lose or did the Seahawks win? Some of the victories have been a bit suspect for Seattle, but give them credit for playing tough and keeping it close enough where a fortuitous swing can send the game their way. If you're down 20 points, the refs can't make an awful call to hand you the game.
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 4-2 Next Game: @ 49ers
#12 – Arizona Cardinals
Are the Cardinals who we thought they were? After two straight losses, it's a legit question despite the 4-0 start. At the end of the day on Sunday we'll know which "surprise" team is for real with Minnesota next up on the slate.
Last Week: 10 Change: -2 Record: 4-2 Next Game: @ Vikings